We’ve seen the highlight clips on social media and heard the hype. Green Bay Packers rookie wideout Romeo Doubs is here to stay.
The fourth-round selection out of Nevada has garnered plenty of praise early on at training camp. He’s also done so while a knee procedure has sidelined his fellow rookie wideout, Christian Watson. While it’s never ideal to be out of the mix with an injury, Doubs’ emergence at training camp will only help Watson in the long run.
Watson was the shiny new toy coming to town when Green Bay drafted him with pick 34 this spring. Packers fans were desperate for the team to take a wideout following Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling‘s departures. There was mostly enthusiastic consensus about the flashy, dynamic wide receiver from North Dakota State.
Green Bay took the road less traveled in Round 1, selecting two defensive players when everyone thought they would go wideout with at least one of those picks. You think zig, they will zag.
The Packers took Watson on Day 2 and had to trade up to select him. Now he’s been sitting out all training camp watching Doubs shine. That will only serve as motivation when he returns to the field. You can bet that Watson is champing at the bit to show everyone that the Packers have more than just one dynamic new wideout.
Sure, Allen Lazard is No. 1 on the depth chart, and Sammy Watkins is another new face in the mix. But Doubs has completely stolen the show so far. Instead of waltzing back in to play the role of hero, Watson will be trying to prove that two rookies can share the wealth and catch Aaron Rodgers‘ attention.
Doubs has been such a breath of fresh air for the Packers during training camp that most players and coaches have been asked about him. The responses speak volumes.
“Every single day, there’s been at least one ‘wow’ play. And that’s rare for a young guy like that,” Rodgers said. “We’ve had some guys over the years do that, but they are all in the top 10 of Packers receiving history. Good start for him.”
When QB1 is singing praises like that, you know you’re doing something right.
The Packers have matched up Eric Stokes, who exploded onto the scene as a rookie last year at cornerback, with Doubs for many reps during training camp. Even the competitive Stokes had nothing but good things to say about Doubs.
“He made a hell of a catch,” Stokes said. “We know for a fact that 50/50 balls, he’s good at going up and high-pointing and finishing catches. Coming in, you’ve got to know he’s a hell of a player and you’ve got to make sure you’re on your P’s and Q’s with him.”
Stokes is expected to climb the ladder again in Year 2, and the matchup between him and Doubs has been fascinating. It offers a glimpse of the impact Doubs could have right away in his rookie season if given the opportunity.
Rodgers likes more than just the on-field product from Doubs. The QB spoke more in-depth about the rookie out of Nevada.
““He’s a very humble kid, but you’re starting to see the personality come out a little bit, which is fun to see,” Rodgers said. “He’s had a lot of opportunities, which has been great. With Sammy not practicing a couple of days, and Christian being out, a lot of opportunities for him, and he’s made the most of it.”
This is still just training camp, so everybody needs to pump the brakes a little bit. But it’s an exciting start.
Watson is hearing all this talk too. Maybe it’s not exactly bulletin board material for him, but there’s no way in hell he’s kicking back and relaxing while it’s all happening. Doubs and Watson are teammates and share a goal of winning a Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean competitiveness won’t kick in. Watson will want some of that spotlight back on him.
Doubs’ standout performance at training camp is obviously great for him individually. However, it should have the added benefit of keeping Watson hungry and ready to go. A little one-upmanship between dueling rookie talents could be a necessary jolt of energy for this questionable wide receiver room — something they desperately need with Adams and Valdes-Scantling absent. In the competition between Doubs and Watson, Green Bay wins.